Tuesday, April 6, 2010

We're Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo...

Beautiful weekends are meant for many things – playing hooky from work (okay, so I used a vacation day), planting flowers, building patios (GO, STEVE!), cleaning bathrooms (wait…how’d that get in there?), playdates, and outings to the zoo. Friday was the perfect day to do most of these, and the rest of the weekend played host to the others. Samantha was still on Spring Break from school, Steve happened to not have to work, and I took the day off. The weather was unseasonably warm for early April, but we’ve come to expect “unseasonable” here in the mid-Atlantic. We always do. (I think that’s what I like about living here – you never know what to expect from one day to the next. As if 19” of snow weren’t enough in December, hey! Let’s try 50” in February!)

Anyway, on Friday we took Samantha to a local farm zoo. I remember 20-something years ago, before this area was built up to what it is now, I would see the camels and ostriches roaming over the hills of the large enclosure as I drove by to visit friends. It was a startling sight if you weren’t expecting it, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. But the signage has gotten larger and more prominent, and the area surrounding it has been developed beyond recognition. Now, with a small child, I have discovered what other wonders live on the other side of the gate. It’s perfect for children, with small monkeys, exotic birds, kangaroos, zebras and sheep and goats to pet and feed. The sheep/goat enclosure was definitely the highlight for Samantha. This child has no fear (except of playground equipment – go figure). Samantha did get nipped by a kangaroo, however, which put a damper on the rest of her visit. Crying made her particularly tired, and she became somewhat uncooperative until we left. No permanent damage was done, fortunately. But how cool is it to say you’d been bitten by a kangaroo? Okay, maybe not so cool. But different, for sure.

A tractor ride took us out into the big field, where we could get up close and personal to some other large animals (can’t identify the big thing with the horns, but we had to sit waaaay back from the edge to avoid getting gored). As we were disembarking, some lady kept saying over and over to us and then her children, how beautiful and sweet Samantha was. I smiled and said “thank you” the first time, but then began to ignore it. I felt that while her intentions were good, and yes, I know Samantha’s beautiful, she may have been a little over-the-top. Did she think I needed to hear it? Did she suddenly get stuck on that broken record thing that often happens to people when they don’t know what to say when faced with someone with a disability (or is that just me?)? Did she really mean it and was so dazzled that she had to say it numerous times, whether or not I was facing her/acknowledging her? Interesting. Have any of you experienced the same sort of reactions from people?

Big Thing with Horns

Peek a Boo with Sammi's Blankie

Kangaroo Love Bite



stephanie said...

Cool Zoo!! That thing with the horns... yeah, I'd sit waaaay back too! LOL
I wonder about that lady too.I'd like to think she was just so dazzled by Samantha's beauty she just couldn't help herself.
Hope the little finger is better!

Kacey Bode said...

THat looks like fun!!! Sammi is beautiful!!!

I have had that reaction before with Ella. While initially I am flattered the longer it goes on the less sincere I think it is. There is this grandmother that picks up her grandaughter that is in Ella's class and she SO annoys me. EVERY single day she goes on and on about how cute Ella is and how sweet she is (ha!) and how she wants to take her home with her, and feels the need to stop people in the hall and tell them that. Seriously??? So yeah, I think people mean well but they just don't know what to say....I guess.

RobMonroe said...

Looks like a great time! So glad you could share that day off!

We have a large number of folks tell us how beautiful Abby is. It's weird, really. I just have Abby say "thank you" and we move on. Not sure that anyone has had anything to say after that... Hmm.

Ambitions of a Trophy Wife said...

We often get people that constantly comment on how handsome he is or how beautiful his eyes are... and I wonder is that their way of saying, sure he is disabled but at least he is cute... as if being an unattractive child would be even worse!! Not really sure....i hope that their intentions are good and then block them out!!

Bethany said...

You never know, that lady could have someone with DS in her life that made her mesmerized with Samantha! I always try to remember that since usually you KNOW when people are staring for the wrong reasons.

Renee said...

I love Reston Zoo but I haven't been there in almost two years. You just inspired me to go again soon.

my family said...

Well she was right. You have a beautiful girl and that hair is so pretty. Mean ole kangaroo lol